About 75.1 per cent of households in Bulgaria have internet access at home, an increase of 42 per cent over the past 10 years, according to the National Statistical Institute’s (NSI) 2019 survey.
The NSI said that 90.5 per cent of Bulgarian households with children had internet access, compared with 70 per cent of households without children.
Of the households that did not have access to the internet, half said that they did not need it, close to 42 per cent said that they lacked the skills to use the internet, while close to 25 per cent said that the equipment was too expensive for them.
In 2019, 66.8 per cent of Bulgarians aged between 16 and 74 years used the internet every day or at least once a week at home, at work or any other place and 53.9 per cent took advantage of the resources of the global network several times during the day.
The most active users of the internet were those with tertiary education (91.7 per cent), as well as young people aged between 16 and 24 years – 90.3 per cent.
Individuals used the network mostly for communication as 57.5 per cent of them carried out phone or video calls (using applications, e.g. Viber, WhatsApp, Skype, Facetime, Messenger), and 52.9 per cent participated in social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.).
Males listened to music online more than females, respectively 31.9 per cent and 27.6 per cent, while females were more active in seeking of health related information – 37.8 per cent compared to 22.7 per cent for males.
The share of individuals who bought goods or services for private use over the internet in the past 12 months was 21.7 per cent. Most active in online shopping were those in age group 25 – 34 years with relative share 40.4 per cent, while only 2.1 per cent of individuals aged 65 – 74 years purchased online. Females were more active in online shopping than males – respectively 22.7 per cent and 20.6 per cent.
Most online consumers bought from sellers from Bulgaria (88.1 per cent), but many people purchased from other EU countries (41.8 per cent) or from other countries – 19.1 per cent in the past 12 months. The main reasons for not buying online were: preference to shop in person, loyalty to shops or force of habit (31.4 per cent); lack of skills or knowledge (5.4 per cent); concerns about returning goods, complaint and redress, 4.3 per cent.
Of those who had used the internet in the past 12 months, 11.3 per cent received fraudulent messages (‘phishing’); 5.6 per cent experienced loss of documents, pictures or other data due to a virus or other infection (e.g. worm or Trojan horse); 3.1 per cent were redirected to fake websites asking for personal information (‘pharming’); and two per cent had the problem of children accessing inappropriate websites, the NSI said.
(Photo: flickr.com/Victor Semionov)